By: Emma Garness
& Megan Shulzer
Chapter One: Meet the Family
"Why, why did it have to be you?" It was shady, but the voice was clear as day. It wasmy mom, the same way she had been that night.
"You're a mistake. We should have given you up long ago." That was my dad.
Ifelt myself drop to the floor crying. "But you said you loved me, that we would always be together. Why did you lie?"
"Love you!" Dad yelled. "Who could love you? You're a beast!"
I shot out of bed, face wet from crying, sheets soaked with sweet. Come on Amber; get a hold of yourself. That was years ago. I thought to myself.
"Dam it Gin!" Nero yelled from outside her door.
I jumped up and ran out the door. "What's going on? Why are you two arguing to early?"
"This dumb sea horse just ran into me and spilled my oatmeal all over me; and it's eleven in the morning. It's all his fault!" He started to through a punch towards Gin, I did what every older sister-ish person would do; through a hand towards his arm knocking it off course, and into the wall.
"Dam it Amber, this had nothing to do with you!" He yelled, then turned to run back to his room, reddish-black hair getting in his face.
"You didn't have to do that. It's not like that overdone lizard could lay a finger on me without me breaking his face." Gin looked down the hall as a door slammed shut.
"Doesn't matter, I didn't want to have to deal with..."
"What is going on out here?" Shoga asked as she walked out of her room and in to the hall, still in her pajamas.
"Nothing just Nero over reacting again. Come on let's get something to eat." I led her down the hall holding her shoulder. "Gin you want something?"
"No, I'm fine." He walked back to his room.
"So what are we having for breakfast?"
"I don't know."
Welcome to the family. Where a strange bunch. I'm Amber, the oldest at seventeen, and leader, in a way. I ran away when I was eleven, (See dream above for explanation.) and ended up here with some help.
The boy that was yelling, and got his arm thrown in the wall was Nero. Found him about three years ago at a police station, and to this day know barley anything about him. All I know is that he's fifteen, his name is Nero, and he likes to pick fights.
The other one that Nero was yelling at was Gin. Found him at a lake in the middle of no ware. He's a little strange with all the meditating junk and what not but he's a cool kid. He's fifteen and the smartest of us.
The other girl was Shoga. She's sixteen and the only one who went to a mortal school, where I found her.
That's right I said mortal. What you think four normal kids would be living on beach front property, with food, beds, and everything we would need to live. No my friend we ain't normal kids.
More on that latter.
I heard a beep from my watch. "Huh?"
Meet in H.Q.
"Breakfast can wait, get Nero and Gin and meet me in H.Q." I ran down the hall.
Chapter Two: Another One
"Gin, Amber told us all to meet in H.Q." Shoga popped her head in to Gin's room.
"Okay." Gin got up and met Shoga in the hall.
"You go on; I have to go get Nero." Gin walked down the hall and out in to the living room towards the hidden door.
Shoga walked down the hall to Gin's room. "Amber said to meet in H.Q."
He was lying on his bed. "Why would I care?"
"Get up now or I'll get Amber to get you up."
He jumped up and walked down the hall.
They got to H.Q. in time to let me yell at them for being late. "Finally you got here."
"Hey, I had to get Nero and Gin." Shoga said.
"I was the first one here." Gin pointed out.
"Deal." Nero said ignoring me.
"Mitsukai will be here at any moment." I looked at the screen.
"I found her." Was the first thing out of her mouth?
"Who?" I loved her but man was she vague.
"Bunny, 35 degrees 40 south, 149 degrees 45 north."
"Amber, we need to get her, now, before someone else finds out about her." That was odd for Nero to point out. He was never one to like to retrieval.
"That's right by us. In fact that's like, next door. Tokyo Japan." I said.
"Yep." She pointed out with a smile. "She's at a hospital."
"Okay, you three get in the car. Mitsukai give me an address.
She printed it out and I ran to the car. "Let's get her."
Chapter Three: Hai
We road the whole way in silence, but you could feel the tension in the air.
We all ran in. The lobby was simple, just a few chairs spread out, a couch here and there, and the main desk in front of the door. "Ma'am we're looking for our um, sister." She looked at us strangely. I bet a bunch of kids with deferent color hair (brow hair- me, blackish-red hair- Nero, bluish-black hair- Gin, and blond hair- Shoga) looked like we could totally be related.
"We're adopted." I added. "She has grayish blond hair."
"Room three-one-six." She said looking down at her computer. "Just got here."
"Thanks." We ran to the elevator across the room.
The old-time jazz music was playing softly, and the elevator was small but we all (somehow) fit. I pushed the three buttons and it lit up as the doors closed.
They opened and we all ran out in to the hall. "It looks like even on right and odd on left." I pointed out. They nodded and ran the down until we reached three-one-six. It would have been easy to miss because of the peeling paint but we luckily saw it.
"Alright you know the drill." I knocked on the door softly and opened it up.
The room was dark but I could make out her shadow. She looked about ten, not that I could say that for sure, she was sitting in the corner.
"Who are you?" She looked a little worried.
"That'll have to wait; you need to come with us." I pushed the door open a little more so she could see the others.
"Okay." She stood up and followed us out.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"Hai." strange name but, whatever.
Down the hallway, into the elevator, into the lobby, out the doors. I said to myself, checking them off as we did it. Almost to safety, maybe well make this one without a prop-
I was stopped short as a kunai knife came at me. I dropped, and the others followed. I shot up and looked around.
"Amber, Amber, Amber." A dark evil voice said coming out of the shadows. "What do you have there, another one of your 'special sisters' I s'pose, huh." I turned right pinpoting his position.
"Well Gon-o don't you just have impeccable timing." I spat, towards his (supposed) position.
He came out of the shadows showing his maniacal looking face. His hand where in his pockets as if he hadn't done a thing, you know, like almost chop my head off. His brown jacket went down to his knees, covering most of his nice suit. His hands slid out of his pockets holding three more deadly sharp knives.
But he wasn't going for me, he shot them towards Shoga. Luckily she had enough time to move just enough so that it didn't slit her throat, but chopped off a good part of her bangs she kept out of her pony tail.
"Shoga!" Nero yelled, again out of charter for him.
"Everyone to the car, now." I yelled focusing on my animal.
It was always a strange felling that came with the half transformation, a zig here, pinch there, and the tail growing, always funny. But I could feel it as the power came to me the speed, the eyesight, the agility, the, well everything.
It was time to fight. My double set of ears on my head helped me hear farther as the team ran to the car, got in, and rushed to pick me up. Gon-o seemed to be saying something as I pulled open the driver's side door and Shoga slide over, not like I was ganna stay to listen.
When we finally got home Nero fell on the couch, Gin fallowing. I could hear the quite slam of a door as Shoga looked herself in her room. Of course as oldest I had to go check on her.
"Hey Nero, can you bring the first-aid kit and a few sodas to Shoga's room." I started to head down the hall. "You got to legs, and last time I checked they weren't broken. Get it yourself." Ahh, Nero back to his old self, so nice."And why'd you make us where this crap?"
I had made them all dress up so they didn't look like slobs. Hey, we may not have adults to look after us and annoy us, but we needed to look like it. "It's not crap, you look nice."
"I'll get it." Gin came in before I had a chasse to say something stupid.
"Thanks." I gave a small smile to him and walked down the hall.
"Shoga," I tapped on her door. "Are you alright?" I opened the door. It was dark; I could see her soiled face as she sat slouching down on the bed. Her hair was down, and uneven from the hair cut she had gotten.
"Yeah." Her cheeks where bleeding from where the knives had nicked her.
"Come on," I sat down beside her, and put my arm on her shoulder. "If ya want tomorrow we can go to the mall, you can get some stuff," I gulped. Close shopping = not my thing, but if it would make her stop crying I'd take her to the moon. Jezz I'm a softy. "And maybe a hair cut."
She nodded. "That'd be nice."
"Hey guys." Gin came in with a two sodas and the first-aid kit.
"Thanks." He walked out and I turned back to Shoga. "Now how about we take care of those cuts. I gave her a small smile and opened a soda for her.
Chapter Four: Sorry 'bout the mess...
When I was done, I told her to take a nap and rest a little, the walked out.
Hai had made her self comfortable on the couch leaning on one of the arms as she watched T.V.
"Hey, so are you okay?" We picked her up at a hospital, so I had no idea what was wrong or if she was sick.
"Then why where you at the hospital.
"No reason." I stood in since for a minuet or two.
"Hey, Hai, want a tour?"
Her head popped up. "Sure." She got up and walked over to me.
"Alright, well this is the living room," I pointed out. She rolled her eyes and walked beside me as I led her to the other rooms.
"This is the dining room. Nero is the only one who can actually cook, not that he ever does. We don't typically eat as a 'family', but we do sometimes." The room was descent sized with a low table, and little cochins around it. A small cabinet sat off in the corner full of dishes.
I lead her to the door on the side. "This is the kitchen. There's typically food in the fringe, if Nero didn't eat it all. But don't worry; we go shopping at least once a week so there should be something in there." The fringe sat off to the sides, the stove was around the middle and a sink was off to the other side. And to wrap it up light wood cabinets with a nice dark wood counter.
I led her out the other door that lead to the hallway. We walked down a few steps a turned. "Sadly, no one but Nero has two beads, so you're gan'na have to bunk with him in the mean time, until we add another room." I opened the door and turned on the switch. "Sorry 'bout the mess." There were close spread out on the floor on one side with a messed up bed and night stand that had a dusty lamp. On the other side, it looked like no one had touched it in years. The bed was made, but dust discolored the red blankets to a lonely grayish red. The night stand seemed to have a dust cover an inch thick.
"Looks deserted on one side and like a tsunami came through on the other." She pointed out.
"Yeah, Nero's a crazy guy." That was putting it nice for you kids. The Guy was insane. "Let's go." I closed the door, and led her to the rest of the rooms.
When we where done I lead her back to Nero's (and now her) room. He was just walking in as we got there.
"Hai, go on in." She nodded and followed Nero. I thought it was strange that he didn't say anything to fight her staying with him.
I shrugged my shoulders, and walked down to Gin's room. "Hey." I knocked.
"Come in." He said. I slid open the door, and saw him sitting at his desk. "What's up?"
"Just checking in." I said. "Everyone was a bit shaken about the Gon-o thing."
"I'm fine." I turned to walk out when he said, "Have you checked on Nero?"
I raised an eyebrow. "My next stop, why?"
"Well I can't be the only one that noticed he's been acting weird ever since Mitsukai mentioned the bunny."
"Well yeah but-"
"Think about it. He hasn't gone off at me or anyone, he didn't argue too much about the suit, and he didn't complain about Hai staying with him."
I had to think a little, but he was right. "Alright, I'll see what's up. In the mean time, everyone's gan'na take a nap and rest a little. I recommend you do too." He nodded and I walked out sliding the door shut quietly.
Chapter Five: Nero's Story
"So," she said sitting on the dusty bed.
"Yeah." He sat on the other, both cross-legged, staring at the other. "Hey I have a question to ask."
"Why did you just come with us, we could have been kidnappers or working for that guy that attacked us, or anyone."
She didn't have to think about that. "No mater who you where, it would be better then where I was."
"But we could have been there to hurt you."
"I knew you wouldn't." She was telling the truth. For some reason she had something pulling at her the second the walked into her room, something she needed to be close to.
"How could you know?"
"I, I just did."
They sat in silence, lessening to the slight sobs from next door.
"So, what's your story?" She asked a small smile on her face.
"Huh?" He was taken aback by that.
"What's your story? Come on, if you're anything like me you have a past you rather not let anyone know. So what's yours?" She sat up a little.
"Um, well if you lesion to your self you'd hear 'that you rather not let anyone know'. Emphasis on not."
"Well, what am I gan'na do, tell some one." she wiggled her fingers as if to scare him.
"Whatever." He thought for a second. "When you're little, the people care for you. They give you food and close and a nice place to sleep. But as soon as you grow up, they make you fend for yourself.
"So we either have to get a job or steal food. With most of the kids there under the age of seven, they couldn't get jobs. I was only nine so the only job I could get was as a paper boy, and it didn't pay nearly enough.
"When I was ten, I realized that I could steal food by hiding it in bags, I just had to take small things at a time. But the costs just kept going up and up, and my pay stayed the same. So I quit, and just stole every thing. I was known as Robin Hood to the kids, everyone got something to eat to eat every day.
"But I went to far one day, and the store owner called the cops. They chased me all the way to the orphanage, two miles from the place. The arrested me just around the corner of the home. I dropped all the food in one of the trash cans and was taken to the police station.
"Believe it or not, you know that you only get one call to tell someone where you are?" He looked over to her.
"I used mine to call the orphanage and tell one of the kids where I left the food."
"Wow." She couldn't help but think of how nice he sounded, but how mean the others made him seem. "Why'd you do that?"
"Wouldn't have mattered who I called I was still gan'na go to jail." His head went back down, and then came up. "Good thing Amber showed up when she did." He gave a crooked smile.
She smiled back.
Chapter Six: Never mind
I walked down the hall to Nero's door. "Hey guys." I knocked.
"Such." Some one said from inside.
"What? You don't 'such' me!" I slid the door open and stepped in.
"Be quite," I looked over at Hai who sat on her bed cross-legged. "He's sleeping."
I looked over at Nero who lay on his side in a half ball with his hands by his face. "How'd ya get him to shut-up long enough to sleep?"
"I don't know. He was just talking about fixing something in H.Q. when he just-"
"What was he doing in H.Q.?" I spat then thought better. "You know what, I don't wan 'a know. I just came in to see how you where settling in."
"I see Nero is too." I whispered to myself looking at him on his bed. He kind of looked peaceful.
"Nothing. Hey, everyone's gan'na get some rest, you should too." I gave her a small smile.
"Night-ish." I smiled a little at that. It was only about three in the afternoon so it was just a nap. Still, I had to say "Night".
I closed the door quietly and walked down the hall to my room. I liked how each room had its own fell, like you could tell who lived there even without them telling you.
Gin's had a writer's feel, books spread everywhere, and his desk got daily use.
Shoga's was a girly-girl feel. She had make-up across her dresser with a huge mirror on top, and a pink and white stripe bed spread.
Nero had, well; there really wasn't any rhyme or reason to his room. It was just a mess covered in dust. Even though he had been with me the longest it seamed like he still wasn't used to the place yet.
Mine had an open felling. Mitsukai said it was important for the team to fell like they could come to me with anything. So my room was wide open, my bed was the biggest, a queen, I had the only patio that showed the ocean.
I lay down on the bed with a big ouff, and turned to my side. I was pooped. I had only been up for about four hours but it felt like days since I last got sleep. I closed my eyes and relaxed.
Chapter Seven: We Need To Know
I was back in my room. I could see it through my eyes as I moved around in the dark.
"I'm sick of this." I said throwing a bag on the bed. "I need to go." I threw what I thought I might need.
I opened the window and jumped out. "Goodbye, not that you'll care." I said half to my self, half to my parents.
A few weeks later, I regretted leaving. But only a little. I was at a bus stop taking cover from the rain. "I'm wet, I'm hungry, and I fell like I'm about to pass out." I whispered to myself.
"No," A voice came out of no-ware. "You're felling what it's like to be alone. But you don't have to be anymore." Her wings fluttered a little in the wind as she reached out her hand. "Come with me."
I hesitated, the took hold of her hand. "Okay."
"Hey." Shoga knocked on my door. "You up?"
I opened my eyes and mumbled something like "Wha' ya nee'"
She opened the door and walked in as I sat up to give her room to sit down. Apparently she found a way to fix her hair because it was back in two braided pigtails with ribbons tied in perfect bows at the bottom. "Hey, I know this is weird and you said that you can't, but, but I want you to teach us the half transformation." She threw it out there as if she had to pull every mussel in her to say it.
"What?" I was taken aback. It was a long time ago but I had said that they would either have to find someone else to teach them or teach themselves, because I sure couldn't.
"I know what you said, but I'm sick of always being scared, of running all the time. I want to protect people, I wan 'a know that no matter what I can put up a good fight." Her face was determined; no one was getting in her way. She was going to learn from weather it be from me or someone else.
"Um," I had to think. If I told her no, she'd run off and fine someone else and I couldn't let that happen. If I said yes, who knows how long it would be for her to take in every thing. I had no good options. "Alright," A big smile grew on her face. "But you have to promise me a few things."
"You can't quit. As soon as you start no backing down." She nodded her head yes. "You can't complain about what you're told." She nodded again. "And, I have to teach everyone, not just you. So its gan'na take a wile but we'll get there."
She jumped up and hugged me. "Thanks sooo much. I'm so happy. You're the best!" She skipped out the door and closed it gently.
"You won't be saying that for long." I muttered to myself.
Chapter Eight: Let's Start
I walked out to the living room, sun hitting my face. "Hey, what time is it?"
"About nine." Gin answered. "You didn't wake up last night so we let you sleep."
"Wow." I had that refreshing feeling you get when you just wake up from a long sleep to find the sun shinning in the morning. I looked around. "Where is everyone?"
"Shoga's in her room, Nero and Hai are still asleep." Gin set down something in the kitchen. "Want some eggs?"
"Sure." I walked into the kitchen and grabbed the plate from Gin. "Thanks."
Nero's door opened as he walked out into the hall. He mooned, then walked into the kitchen to join us. "Wha' up?" He asked groggily.
"What some eggs?" Gin asked."
Nero almost knocked over the small wooden table in the corner. "Uh, no thanks."
I laughed a took a big bite and almost threw up. I coughed a few times. "Um, Gin what'd you make these with?"
"Just some stuff I found around, eggs, salt, butter, sugar, vegetable oil-"
"Okay you can stop there." I interrupted. I scraped the plate off into the garbage.
"I'll make breakfast." Nero said pushing Gin away from the stove. Again, not at all like him.
He had just grabbed a pan from the cabinet when Shoga walked in, hair in braded pigtails, eyes sounded in make-up that enhanced her already pretty face. "Morning."
"Hey." I sat down at the small table in the corner. It was starting to get crowded in here.
Nero had just thrown whatever egg concoction he made in to the pan when Hai came in too. "Yo." She sat down in front of me facing the room.
"Morning." Gin said with a smile.
Nero turned to see her. "Why on earth are you wearing my close?" He nearly knocked the pan off the stove.
I looked at her. "Where those the close on his floor?"
"I didn't have anything."
I raised an eye brow. "So you couldn't at lest grabbed something clean?"
"Didn't want to rummage through his dwarves and, like, touch his underwear or something." Point there.
The smell was amazing as the eggs cooked. I always wondered where he learned to cook so well, not that he would ever tell me.
"Would you all go into the dinning room so I can actually, you know, cook!" He looked over to us.
I threw my hands up in an "It wasn't me" stance. "Come on guys, give the chef some room." We all piled out in to the dining room and sat down.
Nero came in shortly after with omelets for every one, and we all cowed down.
Hai finally broke the silence. "How'd you learn to cook so well?" Brave kid, I felt sort of sorry for her. Nero would go off then I'd have to yell to get him to shut-up. I braced my self.
"Well, it's not like I just got the food and handed it to 'em raw. Someone had to make it taste at lest half descent." Then he just went back to eating. No yelling, or telling her off. What is up with him, he's not at all like the kid I knew yesterday.
I looked over at Gin. He shrugged his shoulders and went back to his food. I wanted to ask him what was up, but then remembered I had something to tell everyone. "All right, listen up. At the request of Shoga, I'm going to teach you all the half transformation." All eyes looked at me.
Nero stood up, and walked out. I fallowed him out into the hall. "Nero, what's wrong?"
"Nothing." He continued walking.
"Nero, how the hell is anyone 'spost to know what your thinking if you never tell them." His eyes grew big as the looked at me. "I've know you longer then anyone else, but I know more about Shoga then I do about you."
He looked at me his eyes filling with sorrow and pain. It was strange, when ever he was yelled at they filled with hate and anger. "Why do you care?" He walked into his room and slid the door shut with a slam.
I walked back into the dinning room to see everyone looking at me. Hai got up and walked out.
"Good luck." I said.